Maintaining Cultural Continuity
Fidelis Umeh was born in Nigeria and lived there throughout his high school years. Fidelis Umeh grew up with strong family values of the traditions of the Ibos, a culture within Nigeria. "One thing that we Nigerians, particularly the Ibos, have taught us from youth is the value of education. It is paramount. And the drive to succeed my culture says that each person must work very hard and that is essential to success, which is very important. And we have support from family that keeps us going when things are difficult. Sometimes perseverance can make the difference between success and failure."
1. Determine a word's meaning from context.
Which of the following words most closely match the meaning of "paramount" in the paragraph above?
B. Of little value
2. Determine the main idea or theme of a text.
What is the main idea or theme of this paragraph?
A. Fidelis Umeh is from the Ibos culture in Nigeria.
B. In Nigeria culture, education and perseverance are .
C. Nigerian value success above everything.
D. Fidelis Umeh thinks education is very important.
He moved to the United States when he went to college. After he finished college, he stayed connected to his family in Nigeria. He returned to Nigeria at least once a year, but he made his home and career in this country. He became a business leader.
Fidelis Umeh has succeeded in the business community, which some people see as a separate culture all of its own. He planned projects. He designed systems. He brought new ideas to businesses. He has been president of a computer company that employs hundreds of highly skilled individuals. At the same time, he kept his commitment to his original culture.
3. Use clues from the text to make an inference. Determine the meaning of a phrase using context.
What does the author mean in the sentence, "At the same time, he kept his commitment to his original culture."
A. Fidelis Umeh succeeded in business because of his cultural values.
B. Even though Fidelis Umeh became very successful in America, he was still Nigerian at heart.
C. Because he was successful in business, Fidelis Umeh became more American and less Nigerian.
D. American business culture was too powerful and replaced his original culture.
In 1991, he founded a group to support Nigerians in Chicago. "I formed a group of Nigerians to be an anchor for them that will fit into the American society but at the same time will give them something to fall back on in times of adversity. I feel it is a strength, it allows us to be individuals.”
“It has one goal, which is to bridge the gap between our people and the people in America. The target is to build an anchor where the Nigerians can feel their identity and at the same time become more connected to the Chicago scene. The problem that we have with our children is that either our children don't have an understanding of the Nigerian culture or an understanding of the American culture. The focus is on children through adolescence. The adults get to benefit from the network."
5. Determine the main idea of a passage.
Which of the following best describes the main idea of this passage?
A. It is difficult for Nigerians to feel at home in America.
B. Fidelis Umeh started a group that helps Nigerians bridge the gap between Nigeria and America.
C. In Chicago, Nigerians have successfully made the transition to America.
D. The goal of Nigerians is to understand American culture and become better Americans.
6. Analyze how structure is used to develop main ideas.
Look back at Section 2 and Section 3. How do these two sections relate to each other?
A. Section 2 introduced the idea of staying connected to Nigeria and Section 3 gave an example of how it happened.
B. Section 2 was about how important business culture is in America and Section 3 gave an example of that.
C. Section 2 summarized Fidelis Umeh's education and Section 3 explained how he succeeded in Chicago.
D. Section 2 was about business culture and Section 3 was about a business group made up of Nigerians.
“We started with story-telling. We are telling the children the stories that our families have told for generations. Each story has a moral, an idea that it teaches the children. The children learn the moral. They also learn more about their own heritage. They will appreciate their heritage. They will realize that they have to work hard, too, to achieve progress.”
With more than 15,000 Nigerians in Chicago today, the potential is very great. Fidelis Umeh said that “The vision of Enumbra is that the Nigerian community will bring the traits that are valued in their heritage as they join the American society. They will in fact be able to enrich the American culture.”
6. Short Response: Fidelis Umeh states that Nigerians "will in fact be able to enrich the American culture." What does he mean by this? How will that happen?
How do you know? What clues in the text did you use to answer?
How do you know? What clues in the text did you use to answer #3?